In an unprecedented move, Sports Casualties will reverse the order of this week’s “Review” columns. Much like when “Sunday NFL Countdown” airs on Saturday, I stubbornly refuse to pull the “Redux” from the title. To read Bryan Holt’s irreverent commentary on real sports and faux sports, click here.
This is a bittersweet afternoon for the folks over at Sports Casualties. On the one hand, our final post on the NBA trade deadline was linked to an ESPN-affiliated TrueHoops blog. On the other hand, the post in question may or may not have concluded with “Canada sucks.”
So little did I know, when I awoke at 10:39 a.m. after a night of rowdy figure skating watching, that A) I had slept through my 15 minutes of fame and B) the “Canada sucks” line had set off an international cyber riot that threatens to thrust the U.S. into a third war that we simply cannot afford. (If you think I’m joking, check the comments… I, for one, did not know Canucks had this in them.)
Now if you’re familiar with the creative minds at Sports Casualties, you wouldn’t be surprised to learn that this whole cross-border fiasco sparked a zealous philosophical text-message debate that went something along these lines:
Co-Author A: “Do we apologize to Canada and the roughly 111 people that want to burn us in effigy under a pile of hockey sticks?”
Co-Author B: “’Fargo’ was kind of cool… Was that filmed in Canada?”
Co-Author A: “No.”
Co-Author B: “Then we hold our ground.”
I was fully satisfied with this conclusion until I turned on the television at 11 a.m. looking for a LeBron recap only to see my once-beloved Tiger Woods embarrass himself in front of millions upon millions of unforgiving moralists.
And it is precisely at this point that I came to a somewhat sobering realization: Canada doesn’t suck. Being hated sucks.
Here’s what I can say for our Northern Neighbors. You’ve provided me two fantastic vacations, a crappy one to Prince Edward Island, wide-open spaces and many a Wayne Gretzky thrill. Apparently it doesn’t snow much in Vancouver, but that’s not your fault. Also, I know from first hand experience that one “Banff” is loaded with wild antelope-looking creatures that walk right up to tourists and try to eat their ice cream. This is pretty cool.
So no hard feelings, Canada. You’re still not re-signing Chris Bosh and you have a hell of a time taking a joke, but you’re O.K. by me. I leave you with this olive branch and the hope that, one day, we may be friends.
Sports: The Great Uniter. Also… (*goosebumps*)
On that note, it’s time for Week in Review.
Scientists this week discovered that Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen likely died of malaria some 32 centuries ago. The breaking news updated the pharaoh’s legend for a new generation who, quite frankly, seemed flatly unimpressed.
Nineteen year-old boy king? Uh, hello. LeBron James?
Sticking with Kingly news, the Cleveland Cavaliers opted to forego their ill-fated pursuit of deadline consolation prize Amare Stoudemire, pulling a shockingly level-headed 180 that landed the Cavs forward Antawn Jamison.
In awe of Cleveland GM Danny Ferry, a flabbergasted Al Michaels released a statement reading, “Do you believe in miracles? YES!”
This week in The Difference Between TV and Radio, Tony Kornheiser on his ESPN 980 show said the following of a possible male enhancement sponsorship for Blazers center Greg Oden:
“Greg Oden could scare the horses! That’s unbelievable!”
Kornheiser’s relatively offensive/flattering line launched a discussion of a new ExtenZE commercial featuring former University of Miami football coach Jimmy Johnson. Sports purists are bashing Johnson for his endorsement of the new Viagra competitor, but coach is quite obviously just repping the new-school Hurricanes slogan: Bigger. Stronger. Faster.
As noted, Tiger Woods read a televised statement today asking forgiveness from, among others, his fellow golfers… before he rejoins the PGA Tour and makes them wish they’d never opened their mouths in the first place. In a related story, Ernie Els is enjoying his last few weeks of relevance.
On Thursday’s “Pardon the Interruption,” Michael Wilbon responded to the idea that ABC, NBC, and CBS would air Tiger’s conference live by saying, “This is the greatest overreaction in the history of network television!”
He added, “And I know a little something about overreacting.”
In further “PTI” news, Kobe Bryant joined Mike and Tony on Wednesday to discuss his team’s chances at repeating. When asked if he would like to see LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the finals, Kobe responded, “We could play E.T. for all I care.”
It’s of little coincidence that the Lakers guard went out of his way to cite another superhuman from outer space.
In case you haven’t heard: Sports Casualties loves The King.
During a typically frantic NBA trade deadline, Phoenix GM Steve Kerr passed on a string of potential moves that would have turned Amare Stoudemire and his sizable 2010-2011 player option into young pieces and cap space.
To the chagrin of his Phoenix constituency, after Cleveland fell out of the running, Kerr pretty much quit on any trade efforts and decided that his assets were too good for the rest of the league.
In other words, he pulled an Evan Bayh.
Last weekend, contentious talks within the league cranked up even before the deadline as Cleveland center Shaquille O’Neal called out Orlando center Dwight Howard for stealing his “Superman” moniker.
“Superman my ass,” a feisty O’Neal said after a Cavs 115-106 victory over the Magic on Feb. 11.
On a roll and seeing no reason to quit while ahead, Shaq also called out one-time teammate Kobe Bryant, saying, “Kobe, tell me how my Superman tastes.”
In a heartwarming Winter Games moment, 36 year-old Suns guard and Alpha-Canadian Steve Nash helped light the Olympic flame during Vancouver’s opening ceremonies last Friday.
This struck some as ironic given Nash torches opposing point guards every night and the Suns lit the back end of his career on fire.
During the NBA’s All-Star Weekend in Dallas, Charles Barkley said to announcer Kevin Harlan during the Rookie Challenge, “Charles Barkley! With no regard for human life! I want to hear you say that just once in my life.”
To his credit, Harlan avoided the obvious DUI joke.
The Dallas festivities got off to a rocky start when NBA players met to discuss owners’ initial collective bargaining offer, ultimately tearing up the proposal during a heated 90-minute session.
Surprisingly, LeBron, Carmelo and Kevin Garnett were in attendance, lending their much-needed star power and combined 4 months of college experience to the proceedings.
Last Friday’s celebrity all-star game shone a light on the bawling talents and budding careers of rapper Pitbull, Scooter Christensen, Michael Rapaport, and Doctor Oz, among others.
No truth to the rumor that ESPN lost a bet with the producers of “The Surreal Life.”
The celeb game was a bittersweet affair for Lakers fans who, upon seeing Rick Fox, were abruptly reminded of Joe Namath in an L.A. Rams uni. But Los Angelenos at least got to see first hand what Robert Horry’s been up to since his retirement – namely, eating.
Thoughts on Daytona from a NASCAR infidel: greatest 6 hour, 14 minute race I’ve ever seen.
This week, new face of the NFL Drew Brees continued his post-Super Bowl whirlwind tour by stopping in on Letterman, holding Mardi Gras court as the Monarch of Bacchus and paying several visits to sick children in New Orleans hospitals.
Next week, Brees will cure cancer and end world hunger, but only should his scheduled meeting at the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Accords fall through.
I could go on, but we’re at 1,200 words. God bless America and God bless Canada doubly.
Time for a buzzer beater. You’ve been great.